Friday, September 28, 2012

Floyd Bennett Petition

From: Barbara Pearson

Subject: National park land being given over to industrial use

Date: September 28, 2012 1:54:19 PM EDT



I recently read an article by Peter Dorosh in your newsletter about the Rockaway pipeline. I am a gardener at Floyd Bennett Field and worked a bit with Peter this past year at Prospect Park. Peter's article was written before the Senate approved the legislation that will make this all possible so the situation is even more dire now. The link below is to sign the petition. The text on the White House petition website is an abbreviated version of the petition below. If you could promote this on your website and/or send an email to your members it would be most appreciated.


Barbara Pearson



VETO H.R. 2606 and NOT Allow Congress to Give National Park Land Over to Industrial Uses

In February of this year, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2606, the purpose of which is “to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow the construction and operation of natural gas pipeline facilities in the Gateway National Recreation Area". On September 22nd, as one of their last acts before Election Day, the Senate approved this bill and sent it back to the House with insignificant amendment that the House will surely vote to approve. That this bill was even being considered was virtually unknown by the users of the park and the constituents of those sponsoring the bill.

The National Park Service (NPS) giving over historic hangars at Floyd Bennett Field, NYC’s first municipal airport, to the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company for an industrial metering and regulating station is such an egregiously inappropriate use of national park land that this legislation was needed to specifically allow what would otherwise be prohibited by the law that created Gateway National Recreation Area and by NPS’s own management policies. NPS management policy deems a use inappropriate if any of the criteria below are met:

· causes an unacceptable impact

· is inconsistent with the park purposes or values

· creates an unsafe or unhealthful environment for visitors or employees

· results in significant conflict with other appropriate uses

· diminishes opportunities for current or future generations to enjoy park resources or values

The installation of an industrial metering and regulating station at Gateway meets all of those criteria; it is also as far removed from what NPS calls the most important type of use of a national park - “the enjoyment of unimpaired park resources and values by present and future generations” - as any use of the park could possibly be.

In addition, we feel the risk this legislation poses to ALL national parks being given over to inappropriate uses cannot be overstated when one considers that NPS is increasingly motivated to solve its maintenance backlog by entering into private “partnerships” as a source of financing. In fact, the “rehabilitation” of the hangars at Floyd Bennett Field at no cost to NPS is openly cited as a reason this inappropriate use will be implemented if H.R. 2606 becomes law.